Limestone County drug sweep nets nearly two dozen suspects - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Limestone County drug sweep nets nearly two dozen suspects

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ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

A sweep of Limestone County targeting drug suspects landed almost two dozen people behind bars Friday.

The roundup is the result of a 10-month undercover operation conducted by the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit.

For the first time during one of these roundups, Sheriff Mike Blakely said more than half of the suspects will be charged with dealing prescription drugs.

"The prescription medication problem I think has probably escalated," he said. "Probably it's worse than it's been since I've been sheriff, and it seems there's no boundaries. From the very young teenagers up to older people in our community that get hooked on these drugs."

Blakely said Friday's sweep will get dealers off the streets, for now, but with so much money to be made, there is someone always ready to take their place.

"Some of these people may even need their medication, but they turn it around and sell it ... on the street," he said. "Some people may be obtaining it when they really don't need it just so they can sell it because it's quite profitable for somebody to buy prescription medication where a bottle of pills might have cost them $15 or $20, then they turn around and sell each pill for $15 or $20 apiece."

Blakely said they are trying to get the middle men off the streets in an effort to break the chain between suppliers and users.

"The thing about it is even though they may not be our major dealers, they are a major problem," said Blakely. "Over the course of a year, they sell quite a bit of drugs."

Officers arrested Tony Anthony Coleman, Leonard Crowe III, Clifford Wayne Gill, Betty Jo Holt, Laura Jean Jarrett, Ray McElyea, Courtney Terrell Johnson, William Allen Branson, Jason Lee Scott, Briana Lasha Nance, Robert Martin Posey, Samuel Roy Watkins, Harold Glenn Wiley, Christopher Shalon Redus, David Joseph Simmons, Michael Ray Williams, Brandon Dewayne Mosley and Charles Dewayne Yarbrough.

A juvenile was also arrested.

Drug agents are still looking for seven suspects in this roundup.

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